Two bits of encouraging news about repair and our rights appeared in the last couple of days.
First: In the European Parliament MEPs want more durable and more easily repairable products. On Thursday 7 April, Parliament adopted its demands for an upcoming European Commission proposal on the right to repair planned for later in 2022, with 509 votes in favour, 3 against and 13 abstentions.
Second: iFixit and Google are Launching a Genuine Pixel Parts Program. Google is the latest manufacturer to partner with DIY repair specialists iFixit to offer spare parts for its devices. It should make it far easier for customers to get parts to repair their own Pixel smartphone if it breaks. Parts like batteries, displays, and cameras will be available to purchase in the US, Canada, Australia, the UK, and other European countries. Google says that parts will be available to purchase “later this year”.
Whilst these are both encouraging, there is still a long way to go before we have meaningful rights to repair and manufacturers embrace repairability.
Self-repair programs are not a real right to repair victory. It doesn’t guarantee you will be able to fix your phone.